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Tips for handling a hyperactive dog

American Kennel Club, American Kennel Club on

Published in Cats & Dogs News

Hyperactivity is one of the most commonly reported behavioral concerns of dog owners. In many cases, the problem is a lack of a consistent and suitable exercise plan. It is important for owners to create a plan that aligns with their dog’s needs.

The American Kennel Club offers the following tips for the owner of the energetic dog:

Daily exercise. Create a daily exercise plan and stick to it. It is extremely important that energetic dogs receive adequate exercise for them to be happy and healthy. Not only will it be beneficial for them to be exposed to consistent physical and mental stimulation, but your dog will also appreciate the routine.

Know your breed. For hyperactive breeds, a quick walk outside may not be enough. Try running games in a fenced yard or park such as fetch. If you are going to be away for longer periods of time, consider dropping your dog off at your local doggie daycare.

Give your dog a job. Some active breeds can benefit greatly from something to do on a regular basis that involves both physical and mental activity such as a sport. AKC performance events such as field work, herding, lure coursing, and dock diving are great for canine athletes. AKC also offers activities such as obedience, agility, and rally that can provide a perfect combination of physical and mental stimulation needed for an active dog.


Teach basic commands. Basic obedience skills such as sit, down, and stay can be helpful tool when managing a dog’s behavior. This can be beneficial in situations when your dog cannot “settle”.

Checkup. If you have established an appropriate exercise plan for your dog that takes into consideration their age and breed, and they still appear to be overactive, a veterinary checkup is recommended. While most of the time, creating an exercise and training plan can address your dog’s hyperactive issues, there are medical conditions that can cause your dog’s hyperactive behavior. Your dog’s veterinarian can do a comprehensive medical exam to rule out any problems.

For more information on responsible dog ownership, visit the AKC at


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